AARP offering drivers safety classroom course to veterans for free

By Carol Higgins Taylor,
Posted Oct. 24, 2012, at 9:54 a.m.

Eastern Area Agency on Aging is always looking for ways to salute our veterans. So is AARP and they have come up with the just the thing.

To recognize and thank Maine veterans for their honorable service and dedication to our country, AARP Driver Safety is proud to offer a the classroom course for free or 50 percent off the online course to all military veterans and their families Nov. 1-30.

“Family” includes spouses, domestic partners, widows and widowers, dependents and children. Anyone requesting the Veterans Promotion will not be asked to provide any form of veteran’s identification but will be required to fill out a coupon.

According to AARP, this class will help you:

• Tune up your driving skills and update your knowledge of the rules of the road.

• Learn about normal age-related physical changes, and how to adjust your driving to allow for these changes.

• Reduce your traffic violations, crashes, and chances for injuries.

• Drive more safely.

Let’s face it. The roads just are not as safe as they used to be. Add to that the feeling of not being as shape as you once were makes getting behind the wheel more challenging. Well, don’t worry. AARP’s Driver Safety course can have you feeling more confident in no time.

Along with ways to navigate difficult traffic situations, you’ll learn about potential trouble spots for drivers, parking lots where cars and pedestrians may be coming from every direction, how to handle a blind spot, and how to protect yourself from car crime.

Then there is the problem being confronted by an aggressive driver, backing up, skidding, which serves as a good reminder now that winter is looming, and ways to compensate for physical limitations that may come with age.

The class also teaches about seatbelt myths, what to do if threatened with a head-on crash, and the three-second rule which should be practiced regularly. Following too closely is dangerous and is akin to asking for an accident.

Defensive driving is crucial to safety, such as looking both ways before proceeding through a green light. It is a common occurrence for the driver with the red light to sail through it anyway, along with the several cars behind him or her. One must never trust that other drivers will automatically stop just because their light is red.

And don’t assume other drivers agree that it’s your turn to proceed through a four-way stop intersection. Always use caution. One of the biggest mistakes that older drivers make is not yielding the right of way to other cars.

One goal of the class is to make seniors aware of these situations and while this class is opened to anyone, it is specifically tailored to the mature driver, addressing changes that occur from the aging process.

The class makes you aware of the newer safety hazards as the roads have changed significantly over the years. Even road signs have changed what with arrows going every which way.

There are no written or road tests in the class, just lots of vital information — some refresher and some focusing on new driving hazards. And driver 55 and older who complete the class will save money on their auto insurance.

EAAA is offering the Veterans Promotion free Driver Safety course, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 1, and again Monday, Nov. 5. Bring your lunch as a one-hour break is built into the class. To sign up, call EAAA at 800-432-7812. It fills up quickly so call soon.

For non-veterans, the class cost is $12 for AARP members and $14 for non-members. You must bring your AARP card with you to get the $2 discount.

Carol Higgins Taylor is director of communications at Eastern Area Agency on Aging. For information on EAAA, call 941-2865, toll-free 800-432-7812, or log on EAAA.org.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/10/24/the-weekly/aarp-offering-drivers-safety-classroom-course-to-veterans-for-free/ printed on July 29, 2014